NBC News did a story related to violence caused by films and cartoons of the Muslims’ prophet. In that rather simplistic story, here’s what a spokesman for CAIR told the reporter:
"It’s so hypocritical for (the attackers) to do these acts in the name of the prophet Muhammad…Muhammad didn’t win over his enemies by violence, he did so through compassion."
If you can read that with a straight face, chances are you don’t read much history.
There’s a book on my shelf that is among my favorites. Written by John Keegan, A History of Warfare (1993) is close to a synopsis of the history of the world because war is about as old as mankind.
I probably don’t have to cite you a source to disprove CAIR’s sugar coating. After all, most major faiths expanded by a variety of means including violence.
There is, however, a bit of a difference between those evangelical Christians so detested by Alphabet Media and the political class, and fundamentalist Muslims they appear to fawn over. You can’t blame them for that—our president set the standard for that as a means of demonstrating American tolerance I suppose.
Islam is essentially one body—the community called umma—whose bounds, according to Keegan, “coincide with the House of Submission (Dar el-Islam).” Outside that House is the House of War (Dar el-Harb). In other words, there should be no war within the body. However, with the prophet’s death in 632, conflict arose and as most everyone knows, it has not been resolved.
“Conflict with the Dar el-Harb shortly became jihad, ‘holy war.’ It was not simply the command of the Prophet that made Muslims wage it so successfully, though wildly successful they were as warriors.”
Keegan explained that Islam had an edge related to wealth—it’s fine to be rich. That contrasts with Christ’s model of poverty as ideal. The Muslim prophet had been a businessman and he expected his umma to grow wealth, do good with some of it and fund the cause as well.
Keegan relates how the prophet “raided the caravans of the rich” unbelievers. This set an example for Muslims to follow.
Keegan also explains something directly related to what I believe suggests irreconcilable differences between Eastern and Western cultures:
There could be no territoriality in Islam, because its destiny was to bring the whole world to submission to the will of God. Islam means submission and ‘Muslim’, formed from the same word, someone who is under it. Only when the whole of the House of War had been brought within the House of Submission would Islam’s destiny be complete. Then all men would be Muslims and therefore also brothers.
Despite the concept of the umma, Muslims have fought Muslims throughout history and they do so now. The prophet had no son; therefore, there was no successor. This provided the seeds for conflict within the umma.
That’s a simplistic explanation, admittedly, but I found it interesting and I thought of it when I read NBC’s rather mawkish pretense of exploring why Muslims get upset when they believe their prophet has been insulted.
I don’t like it when Christianity is insulted, but I certainly don’t encourage violence because of it. In my country, we can say what we like with very few restrictions. No other country in the world has the freedom we do when it comes to speech. Here, our Constitutional laws trump all faiths, and that is a message that should be spread to the ends of the Earth.
I am tolerant of other faiths because I appreciate tolerance for my own. I readily admit Christians warred in historic times. I suspect more than one of my ancestors was converted at the point of a sword.
What Alphabet Media should know is that Islam warred and did it well.
While I appreciate respect for faiths, I am also painfully aware of insults and hostility towards Christianity, Judaism and other faiths from the more radical Islamic blocs. The destruction of the Large Buddha in Afghanistan by the Taliban comes to mind.
The CAIR spokesman, after making a good point or two, fed the NBC content creator poppycock and she wasn’t knowledgeable enough to call him out on his revisionist history. Sad, that.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Sept. 13, 2012)